Search This Blog

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Telling the kids

Here is a killer quote from Alanon's One Day At a Time daily reader for June 26th:

We who really try to use the Alanon program have various reasons to be grateful as we see the results.  This was one member's experience, which she told her friends at a meeting.
Her greatest difficulty concerned her children. "I never knew what to do about them when my husband came home drunk and disorderly. I felt they should be shielded from violence, yet over-protection wouldn't be good for them. I didn't want to influence them against their father; I knew he loved them, and they him.
"I found all the answers in Alanon. I made sensible explanations about their father's illness and found them naturally compassionate. I avoided scenes by not allowing my frustrations to erupt into anger. I tried hard to be consistent and fair to them. The results have been everything I hoped for, and I am so grateful to Alanon for this."
Today's Reminder: Our children are a first thing to consider first. Our attitude is the key to a successful family relationship - and their normal growing up.
"And above all, I never use the children as pawns in any conflicts. They respond so well to respect."

For me, this is what I would to do when one of the parents, father or mother, is suffering from PTSD in the  acute stage. Or even the chronic stage. When I recognize that my husband, Bob, is not trying to hurt me, is not able to calm down and that what I choose to do (argue or let go) will be the primary decider in the way the day goes. It helps me give up trying to point out what is wrong with him and work on myself, on being the kind of person who can say, "You may be right," and let go. I may be thinking on Mars, but I don't have to say it. After all, I don't have PTSD. He does. I married him for better and for worse. If he had cancer, I would not be expecting him to get over it, put it behind him, or be the same person he was. War changes people, but it also gives them experiences that can propel them to new levels of usefulness to their fellows. Like talking about the costs of war.

For a sensible explanation of PTSD symptoms for children, use my two kids books, Why Is Daddy Like He Is? and the deployment version of Why Is Mommy Like She Is? I was told by VA therapists who use the book that the kids stop at every page and talk over the symptoms and relate it to their lives and it is really helpful to them to understand that they are not causing the symptoms. Kids commonly worry that something they are doing is the problem. These books will be available as free downloads in the next week at Patience Press. Right now there are thirteen free articles available there. Hope you will download them and read them and find them helpful.

I will post when the kids books are up.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I was talking to a Vet Center counselor the other day about these manualized 8 to 12 week therapies for PTSD which some VA's are using now and calling a cure.
I don't like the word cure in relation to PTSD.
I really believe that these therapies do cause remission of very painful and troubling PTSD symptoms for a while. When they have 20 year follow-ups with no return of symptoms on all the participants, I will take it back. Meanwhile, the only person I have met who went through one of these programs and was "cured" and wanted to give a talk at a reunion, decided that they weren't treating him right, so instead of asking the organizers for the equipment he wanted, he never contacted them and just stayed drunk all weekend. Didn't seem like a cure to me.
To change the habits of a lifetime can take the rest of your life, and if the habits were learned to save your life, it will be hard to give them up.
One thing the Vet Center counselor said to me was that if someone told the mother of a young person killed in Iraq or Afghanistan that she could cure her grief in 8 to 12 weeks, everyone would be up in arms. Here are men and women who have lost more than one buddy (closer than family if you have been in combat together) and you are going to cure that grief, plus the pain of killing, the anger at waste of lives, the fear of dying, all that in 12 weeks???
I am not saying not to try out this kind of therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, because I have heard it explained and seen the positive changes it produced in a workshop I went to. What I am saying is that if it helps, and then PTSD rears it's ugly head again, go back and do more.
That's what will help if symptoms come back: More of what helped before. Don't believe for one moment that you are a hopeless case. Get more help. People are always developing new treatments for PTSD. Your job is to find what works for you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

the link for the giveaway at goodreads
I am giving away 5 copies to celebrate the fact that Recovering is now available as a kindle, an ibook, for a Sony reader, on Kobo.
It is available for iPad and iPod too. I used to turn it into an ebook and they were quite good.
If you could pass this on to your friends who might be interested, I would appreciate it. I can always use reviews on any of the sites or on Goodreads itself.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Woohooo!  Recovering from the War now has both the book and the kindle showing on the book page! It is $4.99 and I am doing another book giveaway (of actual books, not the kindle) on  Goodreads to celebrate. Please let me know if these links do or don't work.
You can look inside the book on the Amazon page and read my fans blurbs and the two new introductions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I just managed to get Recovering on Amazon as a kindle for $4.99. So far it is not linked in the bookstore but if you look in the kindle store, it is there. I am going to do another book giveaway on, too.
Recovering from the War is a systematic investigation of the costs of war for veterans and their families, including information on how to recover from combat trauma. The examples are from Vietnam, but the experience is universal, so the book is helpful to active duty service members. Part One, Vietnam: What it was, consists of a series of chapters containing interviews with Vietnam veterans: Who Went,...